Notre Dame's Swarbrick praises new Big East commissioner wire reports

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he is encouraged by the Big East's hiring of Mike Aresco as its new commissioner.

Aresco, the former CBS vice president, was hired Tuesday. The day before, the conference enlisted media consultant Chris Bevilacqua to help negotiate a TV deal. Bevilacqua helped the Pac-12 land a $3 billion media deal last year.

Swarbrick said the two personnel moves made a "statement with an aggressive view of the Big East's future."

"I've worked with Mike, it must be 20 years. I've known him well through my work with the NCAA," Swarbrick told reporters Thursday during media day at Notre Dame Stadium. "He's a great guy, with phenomenal people skills and management skills and great ethics."

Swarbrick said the two personnel moves made a "statement with an aggressive view of the Big East's future."

"The long-term stability of the conference is critical to us, so anything that contributes to that is a good thing, from our perspective," Swarbrick said.

Notre Dame is football independent, but competes in the Big East in many of its other sports, including men's and women's basketball. The Big East was forced to rebuild after losing longtime members West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Swarbrick said a more stable Big East could also lead the independent football program to consider resuming its partnership with the conference on secondary bowl options.

"In my time here, the affiliation has been for a single bowl game," said Swarbrick. "That creates challenges for us. We are exploring a host of potential ways in which we might deepen the number and nature of our bowl affiliations. There's a lot of work ahead in that but certainly working with The Big East on that is one possibility."

The Big East just ended a six-year contract with ESPN for men's and women's basketball, and Sept. 1 will begin a 60-day exclusive negotiating period with the network. If the two sides can't reach a deal, the Big East's TV rights will hit the open market.

Swarbrick also unveiled new uniforms the Irish will wear for their Oct. 6 game in Chicago against Miami.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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